The Award Every Entrepreneur in Northern California Wants to Win


Enphase CEO Paul Nahi, nominated for
EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015

In Northern California, everybody from the food truck guy who sells you a burrito to the most learned Stanford professor calls himself or herself an entrepreneur, which is why there is fierce competition here for an upcoming annual award that’s on the radar of everyone interested in business.

The EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards are in their 29th year now, and a review of some of the past winners in the Northern California region highlights just how good an omen receiving one really is. Way back in 1987, for example, when the market crashed and the brick phone was a novelty, Scott McNealy won for a company, Sun Microsystems, that was to become one of the leaders of Internet technology. Ten years later, in 1997, when only one in five of us used the Internet, Jerry Yang won for a small search engine company called Yahoo.

The list of famous names goes on. Larry Ellison won in 1989. Then there was William Porter of E*trade in 1998. Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn in 2011. Nicholas Woodman of GoPro in 2013.

That’s why on June 11, all eyes will be on EY when it honors 25 finalists and names a winner at its 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards for the Northern California region. The event, which will take place at the Fairmont San Francisco, is one of several EY Entrepreneur of the Year events that recognize entrepreneurs in more than 145 cities in 60 countries.

We’re proud to say that this year’s 25 finalists for the Northern California region, announced May 4, include our good friend and client, Paul Nahi, President and CEO of Enphase Energy. Enphase is part of the green technology revolution, providing microinverter systems that convert output from solar panels into consumer-friendly electricity. Last year, Enphase reported revenue of $344 million, compared with just $1.7 million in 2008.

Here’s the full list of this year’s Northern California region finalists. See if you can predict who will head to Palm Springs for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year National Overall Award ceremony on November 14, 2015.